Govt to encourage local mobile manufacturing, IT minister

During the inauguration of Software Technology Park at Hyderabad Institute of Arts, Science and Technology, Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Syed Aminul Haque said that the current government is pushing cellular companies to manufacture and assemble mobile phones in the country so that the increased prices of the cell phones can be bought down.

‘’We want our people to be able to buy a good quality mobile phone from Rs8,000 to Rs12, 000 instead of paying Rs50, 000 to Rs100, 000”, said the Minister. He criticized the previous governments for their irresponsible behavior, saying that had this move been planned earlier, the prices of the mobile phones would have been low today and more employment opportunities could have been generated.

The minister was also present for the signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) and Hyderabad Institute of Arts, Science and Technology (HIAST).

He termed the MoU, a ‘major achievement’ and said that it was a giant leap towards multifaceted cooperation in terms of setting up a software technology park at the university campus, capacity building, online training, developing linkages between academia and the industry besides facilitating the IT start-ups and freelancers.

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Currently, 16 software technology parks across the country with 1,169,500 square feet of space were offering state-of-the-art facilities to the technology companies, informed the minister. Pakistan’s IT industry had achieved significant expansion and growth in exports but it remained focused in Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore only, he noted. “We have to increase 4G penetration to 50% before launching the 5G while 4G internet users now constituted 41% of the mobile internet user”, said Haque.

The minister further said that they were trying to make 3G and 4G internet services available in areas where it was not available before.

Speaking at the 4th Consumer IT and Telecom Conference organized by Consumers Association of Pakistan in Karachi on Saturday, Minister for Information Technology and Telecom, Syed Amin ul Haque said that his ministry has a vision to provide broadband internet facility to the entire population, including the rural areas of the country. IT Ministry is also working on projects to provide internet connectivity on highways and at tourist destinations, he added.

The minister said that broadband facility and internet connectivity is necessary if the country wants to progress towards a fully-fledged digital economy, in line with PM Khan’s vision of ‘Digital Pakistan’. The IT ministry is closely monitoring the new trends and technologies to keep up with the changing technological advancements, he added.